Daybreak Upheld

The votes were unchanged (4-3) to affirm the approval of the zoning-map amendment that was originally approved by the city council on September 23.  This was the second reading.  No second reading was needed for the Planned Unit Development (PUD) or the development handbook that were approved earlier.  None of the votes changed: Delgado, Jardon, Reese, and Weber in favor.  Brekhus, Duerr, and Schieve were opposed.

About a dozen residents stayed from 10:00 AM until the Daybreak agenda item was considered after 4:30 PM.  Residents raised familiar issues during public comment.  There were 60 comments received by e-mail in opposition.

  • The testing for Mercury was inadequate and doesn’t describe the hazards.
  • Some Hidden Valley residents stored flood waters on their property in 1997 to the benefit of the Truckee Meadows.
  • The government is itself responsible for the lack of the affordable housing by permitting sprawl which is not cost efficient.

Fireworks …

  • One resident pointedly asked whether the council members could pull themselves away from the developers and the campaign contributions to consider this project.
  • One resident pointed out that Delgado had taken campaign contributions from the Daybreak developer.  Supporting Daybreak is a public display of bribery.
  • One resident threatened to sue the city for putting the residents in danger.

Highlights of the discussion on the dais.

Duerr: “What is the liability risk to the city if there is increased flooding due to the development?  Is there bonding to cover this?”  She raised the issue of the city losing the class action suit brought by the Lemmon Valley residents.  Shipman (city attorney) had no satisfactory answer.  Neither did Brook Oswald (city planner).

Brekhus: “What happens to the approved Butler Ranch development PUD since it is mostly incorporated into Daybreak.”  Oswald was able to show how Daybreak would supersede Butler Ranch.

Duerr: “The 1997 flood in the area caused $700M in damages and would cost over $1.2B now.  With climate change, we can expect a 20% increase in the frequency and a 20% increase in severity of floods by 2050.  We have spent $150M on the Flood Project from a combination of sources.  With Daybreak, we will not be able to meet the Army Corps of Engineers requirements for the Flood Project.”

Schieve: She asked Daybreak’s wetland hydrologist what her concerns were about the project.  Lori Carpenter was evasive.

Schieve: “I used to live in Hidden Valley and I remember flooding there.  I remember going to the neighbors in a rowboat.”

Duerr: “The Army Corps of Engineers may not consider cumulative impacts and may wrongly grant permits to projects that are subdivided.”  She said that Daybreak did not have a 404-permit at this time.

Delgado (by phone): “Do we have a policy prohibiting development in flood plains?”  The answer was “no”.  Development in flood plains is strongly discouraged.  Will the developer wait for the new flood map before construction?”  Andy Durling answered “yes”.

Brekhus: “The maintenance and cost cannot be born by the HOA.  We need to know how this will be managed.  The cost will end up being borne by the taxpayers.

Brekhus: “I am concerned about the many older PUD’s that are the starting points for the amendments.  I would encourage a provision like this ‘The first tentative map for this project must be approved in 24 months.  Following tentative map approval, the developer will have 24 months for final map approval   The second tentative map must be approved within 6 months of the first one being approved. The two tentative maps must include at least 40% of the residential units.  Failure to meet these requirements will mean the Daybreak project approval will be vacated for the balance of the units.’ ”  Stockman: “The PUD, as drafted, has a 20-year expiration date.”  Shipman: “Due to the court order, these time constraints would need to be agreed to by the developer.”

Schieve: “Would the developer agree to these conditions?”  Michael Pagni (developer’s attorney) replied “The developer is not amenable to any further changes.”

Delgado: asked about the Mercury study.  Anthony Dimple (the developer’s researcher) assured him that the study was comprehensive and that the home sites would be tested before construction commenced.  He claimed to have an NDEP-approved mitigation plan.


The Bella Vista Ranch II developer requested a continuance that was granted unanimously.  Council member Duerr made an important suggestion.  “Why not make older PUD’s conform to the current master plan?  We should have an ordinance to that effect.”  This is an important point given the number of zombie projects dating back a dozen years that were approved under older master plans or area plans.


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